U.S. Veteran returns to battlefield in Peleliu after 73 years
Ninety-seven years old American World War II veteran Curtis Windfred Wise returned to the battlefield, this time to hold a short remembrance for the men who perished in Peleliu.
Wise, accompanied by relatives and friends this weekend visited Peleliu, where he served and fought along with the American Soldiers as Non-Commissioned Officer with Company I, 321st Regimental Combat Team, 81st Infantry Division. [restrict]
Wise, is a native of Kannapolis, North Carolina who last spring conveyed his desire to visit Peleliu after seeing a life size photograph of soldiers climbing down a net off the ship during the Peleliu battle.
With the help of his relatives, Gary Sinise Foundation and American Airlines, Wise wishes were granted.
Wise said this visit to Palau he will actually sleep in a bed compared to when he was here 73 years ago where he has to dig up a hole as his sleeping area.
Wise was drafted from the textile mills of Concord, North Carolina, to join the United States Army and serve in the Pacific Theater of World War II, according to information from The U.S. Embassy here in Koror,
Drafted shortly after Pearl Harbor, Wise entered the Army as an enlisted infantryman in June of 1942. Winfred would serve throughout the Pacific Theater as a Non-Commissioned Officer with Company I, 321st Regimental Combat Team, 81st Infantry Division.
It further added, Wise’s combat service took him across the Pacific from Peleliu/Anguar to New Caledonia (reconstitution) to Leyte and ultimately to service in Occupied Japan.
Wise has extensive combat decorations, e.g. Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, Multiple Theater Medals (with star devices).
Wise has also met with U.S. Ambassador Amy Hyatt who held a reception for him.
The aging survivor also met with Peleliu Governor Temmy Shmull and Minister of State Tina Rechur-Marugg during the reception Friday night. [/restrict]